Kachina Peaks Wilderness: near Flagstaff Arizona

Able to see via Interstate 40

"The Sleeping Mountains"
"The Sleeping Mountains"

 Heading west on Interstate 40, in Arizona, there is a rest area almost up the mountain near Flagstaff (after you see the sign that reads "Kachina Peak Wilderness") that has a nature walk through a section of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. We just happened to stop at this particular rest area and boy was I glad we did.

The best part of this rest area, in my opinion, is not the immaculate restrooms (with plenty of toilet paper). Instead it is the nature walk across where you park where it has a sign that says "Pets Welcome". My dachshund Fritz and I took advantage of part of the nature walk which according to the plaque (at the entrance of the nature walk) "takes 15 minutes to walk all the way around" in a loop. The plaque further read that we would be walking in a portion of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness known for its pines (noticed as tall or taller than those found in Lake Tahoe) and that the mountain range (we were walking on) was called "Sleeping Mountains" by the Native American tribes indigenous to the area because the mountains looked as if they were resting. I found reading this tidbit very interesting and appreciated the welcome from the local area, bidding us to walk the loop for our enjoyment (did mention pets must be leashed). There is no charge to use this nature walk, completely free.

The walk on the loop is pleasant, black-topped so one can see where to walk. The smell of pine is strong, yet delightful. Like walking through a pine forest. Very quiet - a surprise to Fritz and myself. We only walked half way and back. I wanted to go further. Fritz wanted to go back, beginning to tire, threatening to have me pick him up and carry him. My dachshund does this when he decides he has had enough of this type of activity. My husband was glad we returned just as he had to our pick-up truck. He called our timing "Perfect". Making Fritz feel great about his decision to return when we did.

I mentioned the nature walk and what the plaque had on it to my husband. He found it interesting too, but felt we did not have time to walk the entire loop. Insisted it was time to continue heading west.

If you ever get a chance to stop at this particular rest area in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness as you head west up the mountain on Interstate 40 and are close to Flagstaff, please take the time to walk this nature walk-loop. Highly recommend for all ages and a great quick family activity.

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